Friday, June 26, 2009

Hello, Vecmamma

At the age of ninety-seven, my grandmother is starting to get confused about who I am sometimes. She still knows her granddaughter Daina, though sometimes she forgets that Daina has already left college and even married that boy my grandmother likes so much... it's just that she doesn't always realize that I'm that granddaughter. A few times now, she's mistaken me for my mother, especially if I visit when she's groggy from a nap.

I try to greet her, "Hello, Vecmamma! It's Daina!" but sometimes she forgets or doesn't hear. And we'll talk awhile and it becomes clear that she's saying "your husband" when she should be saying "your father," and I try to gently correct her... but I usually can't bear to say outright, "No, Vecmamma, you're confused. I'm Daina, your granddaughter." And eventually she'll get it right on her own.

I have been expecting something like this for years now, and it is not so hard to take. The part I find strange is how nice a visit we can have still. I used to think that what made us so close were all those hours when I was little, playing dominoes and walking to the pond and watching Wheel of Fortune while I tried to subtly convince her to scratch my back. And those things still tie us together in a way. But even when she thinks I am someone other than the girl she spent so much time with, it still feels so natural to sit close to each other in her bed or on the couch, flipping through old photo albums or telling stories and just enjoying our time together.

No comments: